John Jasper is a brooding, moody choirmaster at a finishing school in Victorian England, but maintains a secret life in an opium den. He becomes obsessed with a young student, Rosa Bud, who is engaged to his nephew Edwin Drood, and she senses the intensity Jasper's feelings and is frightened of him. When the mixed-blooded Neville Landless and his twin sister Helena arrive at the school from Ceylon, Neville and Edwin take an immediate dislike to one another as Neville feels that Edwin takes his engagement too lightly. Although they quarrel and make up, Edwin disappears, and suspicion falls on the quick-tempered Neville. Written by
After the first dinner party, as David Manners and Douglass Montgomery are walking down the street to go home, the shadow of the boom mike can be seen in the background on the side of the buildings. See more »
This adaptation of Charles Dickens' famous unfinished novel is made in the style of Universal's horror films: in fact, it not only features many of their participants (from both sides of the camera) but actually shares several sets with BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) making the film all that more enjoyable and fascinating a viewing! The stunning opening sequence, depicting an opium-induced hallucination, is followed by the shocking discovery of the addict involved (Claude Rains) to be the choirmaster of the local church! Jealously in love with a girl (Heather Angel) about to marry his nephew (David Manners in the title role), he schemes to get the boy out of the way unaware that the couple had mutually given each other up when she falls for hot-tempered newcomer Douglass Montgomery; the latter's own shaky relationship with Drood leads to his being suspected of foul play when Manners goes missing a situation Rains encourages for obvious reasons. Montgomery, however, does not rest on his laurels indeed, he makes himself up as an old man in order to conduct his own private investigation! The exciting climax set inside the crypt so memorably utilized in the James Whale masterpiece I mentioned earlier sees the villain engaged in a scuffle with the hero, eventually getting his just desserts in melodramatic fashion. The film, then, serves as an interesting companion piece to contemporaneous Dickensian adaptations (a star-studded David COPPERFIELD emerged from MGM that same year) and should also pique the interest of horror buffs for the reasons I delineated at the start
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